How is each of the sides shown?

Act 5 Scene 1

the Philosopher and the Doer

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The range of Hamlet’s verbal and philosophical variety becomes clear as he goes from trading macabre jokes with the gravedigger, to his moving rumination on the dead court jester, Yorick, to his declaration of love for Ophelia and his attendant mockery of Laertes’ over-the-top mourning display, to a scathing parody of Osric’s ludicrous courtly mannerisms. As noted before, Hamlet’s mind seems to work as an intense magnifying glass of sorts. He looks at one subject – say, the gravedigger’s macabre humor – and scrutinizes it to exhaustion before turning to another – say, the nature of mortality as occasioned by the discovery of Yorick’s skull – and treating it with a similar thoroughness. The variety of his curiosity is matched by depth of penetration. He is both wide-ranging and profound – truly a Renaissance mind.

In this final Act, Hamlet seems no longer to curse this tendency of his to become distracted by thought in favor of action, as he does for instance in his soliloquies on Hecuba and on Fortinbras’ army, but to celebrate it. He says to Horatio, for instance, when his friend seems concerned that he is walking into the trap set by Claudius and Laertes, “[W]e defy augury. [...] If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.” Hamlet rejects “augury” – that is, he rejects any predictive phenomena, or any future-oriented thinking at all. In a way, he rejects the ghost’s order to fulfill a set goal. (By the way, we might ask what Hamlet means by “it” in the above sentence. Does “it” refer to his plan to kill Claudius? – “If I will kill him now, so be it.” Does “it” rather refer to death itself? – “If I am to die now, so be it.” Or is “it” a placeholder for anything, any event?) At any rate, Hamlet has achieved a point of philosophical “quietus,” an acceptance of the world with all of its flaws and absurdities, which he has made not with “a bare bodkin” but with his own mental powers. His gaze is focused on some spiritual realm beyond the pettiness of Danish political intrigue.